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Politics

Tsipras Says Erdogan KO’d Mitsotakis at NATO Meeting

ATHENS – While he wasn’t tough on Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan while in power for 4 ½ years, former premier and now major opposition SYRIZA leader Alexis Tsipras said Greek Prime Minister Kyriakis Mitsotakis suffered a “terrible diplomatic defeat” at the Madrid NATO meeting.

That was in reference to Erdogan not bringing up, as the Turkish leader said he would, demands for Greece to take troops off Aegean islands near Turkey’s coast, warning of possible military action otherwise.

Tspiras told Open TV that the New Democracy government’s response it was satisfied with that was tantamount to giving in to Erdogan, and Mitsotakis not upset either that US President Joe Biden said at the meeting that he wants to sell more F-16’s to Turkey and upgrade the Turkish Air Force.

That’s dependent on a vote by the US Congress, whom Mitsotakis – in an address in Washington earlier – urged lawmakers to reject, drawing wrath from Erdogan who said that he would never talk to Mitsotakis again.

“We saw what happened in Madrid, but the Greek government says it is satisfied,” the state-run Athens-Macedonian News Agency AMNA reported him as saying.

Tsipras – who broke a vow to take Greece out of NATO and aided the defense alliance in the war against terror – said the meeting showed“confirmation of the West’s support for Turkey despite the extreme revisionist policy it expresses.”

Turkey has a Blue Homeland doctrine challenging the sovereignty of Greece territory, airspace and waters and Erdogan said he covets return of islands ceded to Greece in the 1923 Treaty of Lausanne he doesn’t accept.

Tsipras said that the New Democracy government is  “engaging in a dangerous foreign policy that is leading us from defeat to defeat,” saying that Mitsotakis responds by “pulling armaments programs out of his sleeve.”

To counter Turkish provocations and aggressions, Greece has made deals to buy French Rafale fighter jets and warships and wants to do the same from United States defense contractors.

Mitsotakis said his government would move to purchase US F-35 fighter jets that were denied Turkey when Erdogan authorized purchase of Russian-made S-400 missile defense systems that undermine NATO and could be used against Greece.

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